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365 Challenge: Day 101 – Sullen

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Sullen: bad-tempered and sulky; gloomy; depressed

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“I did not get the job.” Most of us have said that before, and if you haven’t, it’ll happen one day. It’s rare to always get the things you want, especially when it comes to big things like an apartment, a house, a date, or a job. And when that happens, you probably get a little upset or depressed. That’s how I felt yesterday afternoon and was hoping it would dissipate by the time I woke up this morning. But it didn’t, and I was feeling a tad sullen as I arose from bed.

A bit of backstory to set the stage for those who don’t yet know me all that well. When I graduated from college, just as the country was preparing for Y2K, I had an English degree with minors in communication, Spanish, education and business. I wasn’t certain what to do with my career, but I wanted to be a writer during some part of it. The weekend I drove home after graduation, I faxed my resume to a bunch of jobs and was called immediately to come in for an interview as a project administrator and technical writer at a local company in my hometown.  Seventeen years later, I had parlayed that initial position into 6 or 7 promotions, culminating in the SVP of Technology role in one of the sister companies, owned by the same family. For a variety of reasons, not necessary to go into here, I left that company and role last year.

I was going to take some time off, finally do some writing and decide what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. In that time, I wrote a book and it’s been well received by some friends, family and beta readers I met via the Internet. I created a bunch of websites and blogs, connecting with thousands of people. I’ve read hundreds of books and drafted 500 book reviews. I’ve gotten a break from the insanity of the corporate technology life I was leading, where I worked 80 hours a week and could never put my phone down or ignore my email. I felt really proud and accomplished for all that I’d achieved since leaving my position to focus on the things I’d always enjoyed but never had time for.

The Christmas holidays came and left, and I started to get a bit bored. I began searching for a literary agent to help find a publisher for the book. I started looking for a job again, for a variety of reasons. Boredom. Money. Keep up the skills. Money. Connections. Money. By February, I had the resume in a good place. I started networking a little more. And I went on a few interviews. None of the jobs felt right, but it was important to practice the interview skills and to be open-minded. Nearly 4 months later, I’m still searching. I had a really strong series of interviews in the last month and I know it had come down to me and another person. A call was setup for yesterday to discuss next steps. I wasn’t feeling strong about it, as something told me this was a great job but I wasn’t going to be selected. Took the call late yesterday afternoon. “I did not get the job.”

Sullen. A bit sad. Tired. Depressed. Concerned. Scared. Lots of emotions and thoughts rolling around in the old cage at the top of my head. First, to set expectations: I’m totally fine. I’ve been told “no” before, and I’ve been told “yes” before. This isn’t about money. I’m not worried that I’ll never find work again. I don’t take it personally. I’m not looking for someone to help or even tell me it’ll be OK. Today’s post isn’t really about me feeling sad or depressed as much as it is a voluntary acknowledgement that my mood was affected by the call not because I didn’t get the job, but because it made me feel like I haven’t progressed as much as I would have liked in the last 11 months since leaving my former position.

And as I come upon the one year mark next month, I’m reflecting on what I’ve learned. I started the 365 Daily Challenge to push myself to be honest and truly analyze everything going on in my life. I wanted to be more open and connect with people around the world. I needed input on how everyone else made decisions in their lives in the hopes it would trigger a moment where I would figure out my own. I am a very happy person. I am very lucky. I have a wonderful and supportive partner. I am healthy. I have friends and family. I have a good outlook on all these things going on. But today I felt sullen over the call… sullen because after almost one year, I’m still unsure what’s next.

Do I continue looking for corporate positions where the money is good and I have a very structured life? Do I stay on a path for another year with writing and take short-term jobs to pay the bills? Do I truly try to break into a different career where I love my job and have passion all day? Where’s this 365 Daily Challenge going? I actually feel that maybe I do have something of value to say to my friends and acquaintances who read my posts. I’ve been so happy writing the book reviews and reading, maybe that’s where my heart is for the future.

Most of all, I am grateful that I have all these positive things going on in my life. It’s rare that people have this opportunity to step away from reality and give an alternate life a chance. And that’s why I am keeping my minor frustration, depression or disappointment in check. But I’m still human… so today I am sullen. Tomorrow it will get better. And well… that’s good enough for me. Sorry for the dull and possibly depressing post today. But you’ll always find the truth on ThisIsMyTruthNow.

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Blog: To Write — Choose What Novel is Next For Me!

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As many of you already know, I tend to write and post a lot on this blog — sometimes too much from I’ve heard. Between the older book reviews and the 365 Daily Challenge, I’m constantly in your mail box! Part of this journey has been a self-induced push to get me into a habit of writing every day. Last fall, I wrote a book and am currently working with and searching for the best agent to represent me to publishers. If you’re interested in reading a few chapters, you can find out more here.

While I’m on that path with an agent, I need to get started on the next book. And as I’m nearly done with updating all my older book reviews, I’ll probably get more seriously started in July or August with writing the next novel. I’ve created several outlines over the last few months and a couple of chapters here and there, but I haven’t quite latched on to what story to tell. Since I’ll have more time on my hands once the older book reviews are completed, I should directly replace that time with writing the next book. And I think I’ve got the perfect idea.

I’m going to spend a week writing each chapter, a few days editing it, and then post it online on my blog. This is both good and bad… it means if I have edits or changes from previous chapters, it might be a bit disjointed at times, and it also would make it harder to publish in the future. I’m also locking myself into several hours of work every week for the next 52 weeks — a whole year! But… I’ve completed 25% of the 365 Daily Challenge, so I obviously have the stamina. I can and will do this. Maybe we’ll decide instead of 1 full novel it will be several shorter novels, or a few major sections of several I get started on. The goal being to get myself back on track. And that’s where you come in….

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Once the older book reviews are completed and I have a few weeks to outline my next book, I will post a chapter every 7 to 10 days (depending on editing time) on this site. Anyone who wants to read it can read it. Anyone who wants to reply can reply through comments, polls or privately email me. But… to make this even more interesting, I’m going to summarize the eight (8) options I’m currently considering. And based on all votes received between today and June 30th, I will begin drafting the next book based on the summary that receives the highest count. So you get to choose!

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Some may say I’m throwing away content that a publisher will never want if it’s already so public. Others may say I could confuse readers if things change with the plot along the way. But you know… where else can you take a chance if not among your blogging friends? Is anyone else doing this? What if this helps me become a better writer and the next book I write is the best seller? It’s not about finding the secret formula to getting published. It’s not about how to make the most money. It’s how to tell the best story. And that’s my goal. Without further ado, below are the 8 options to choose from with the poll at the bottom of this post.

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  1. Memory of Time
    • Historical Fiction (1860s to Present)
    • Over the course of a two hundred year period, five (5) people’s lives are connected. Readers will learn bits and pieces in each chapter, as each section will focus on one of the five characters. You won’t see how or why they are connected at first, but it will become more clear as the story unfolds. And when it finally comes together, through tragedy and happiness, a single thread connecting them all, will culminate in a choice one person has to make: revenge or forgiveness.
  2. Father Figure
    • Mystery (Present)
    • A young girl’s quest to find her father, unaware of all the circumstances she’s placed herself in due to the choices both her mother made 18 years ago and she made on her own. Two Time Periods:
      • 1999 – Molly Graeme (17) attending college. She has a boyfriend. But she’s secretly attracted to her professor, Dr. Jonah West (40). She begins an affair with him. Jonah has a son, Riley (21), who is from a previous marriage. He was a very angry young man who a hatred for women because his mother left his father. One night, Riley attacks Molly and her life is never the same again.
      • 2018 – Molly, goes by Amalia, sends her daughter, Brianna, away to college. Brianna begins dating her professor, Dr. Carter Villing. Brianna has always accepted her mother’s story that her father was a military man she only met one night and never saw again, but found herself pregnant months later. But Brianna uncovers her mother’s old journal where she confesses to finding out she was pregnant and not knowing who the father was. And then she reads an entry about who her mother’s boyfriend really was back then. Could that be her father… and if so, what does she do now?
  3. Amulet of Hope
    • Historical Fiction / Fantasy / Mystery
    • Two spinster sisters fell in love with a man in 1700s Germany when they were 39. Ruthless Ottilia tricked Nikolai into sleeping with her and became pregnant. Innocent Eva pined and when she learned of the trickery, she confronted her sister after she gave birth… the two sisters fought and Ottilia went over a cliff. As she fell, she cursed her sister with the amulet that each of her children would suffer by having to make the choice to save one child while letting the other die. If no choice made by the time the mother was 40, all her kids would die immediate and tragic deaths.
    • Fast-forward to present time.  17 year old Vera finds the amulet among her mother’s belongings. Her mother is about to turn 40 but had a car accident and is in a coma. She meets her grandmother who’s been estranged for years. She’s faced with a choice… to use the amulet to save her mother and kill one of her siblings, or let her own mother die. What’s happened over the last few hundred years that drives everyone’s choices?
  4. College Campus Mysteries
    1. Mystery (Present) 
    2. Kellan Brunswick is a 32-year old writer who has recently moved back home to Wellington, Pennsylvania, a small historic town on the central PA border with New York tucked away between the Wharton Mountain range and Crilly Lake.  Kellan’s come home to Wellington to see family for a little when Braxton College, the school Kellan’s father recently retired from (as President), has a murder. Kellan needs a break from his Hollywood writing life and sticks around to help clear his dad of the murder, only to find out way more secrets about his family than he expected.
  5. Hillcrest Hunting
    • Cozy mystery series (Present)
    • While the series focuses on Brody and his cousin Evelyn, the extended family will play a large role in each book.  Brody Hillcrest disappeared years ago to escape a tragic accident only to find himself hiding in Italy away from his entire family.  When his clever cousin Evelyn finds a way to hunt him down, Brody’s forced to face his family and explain his absence. Evelyn throws a party in honor of her first book being published where family and friends celebrate her success.  But a murder happens while Evelyn is revealing that she brought a surprise guest — cousin Brody is home after a 5 year disappearance. Brody and Evelyn learn that many of their cousins have some connection to the deceased welcome-home party guest, but neither wants to believe their own family could commit murder. The duo investigate the murder victim and their family, even though they have no professional cop or PI experience, as they want to protect one another but also find themselves intrigued with the challenge of detective work.
  6. All the Gifts I Have Received
    • Thriller and Suspense (Present)
    • A woman receives gifts from a secret admirer. At first, they are sweet. They soon turn dark and dangerous. As she turns to the people closest to her, they all begin to look suspicious to her. She involves another friend she’s just met who’s a detective. As he closes in on finding her stalker, he realizes there’s a lot more to the puzzle than anyone knew. The woman’s family is not who she thought they were. And when the woman disappears, he fears he’ll never find her again. But he does. And when he does, he’s shocked to learn who has her.
  7. Graveyard Mistakes
    • Thriller / Mystery / Suspense (Present)
    • In the opening chapter, a man is at a grave saying goodbye to someone he loves. As the chapter ends, he asks how it all happened… how they ended up with him sitting by her grave and her being dead.
    • Reverse the story back to the beginning… and you’ll learn what happened to them, how much love can cost you and what lengths someone will go to in order to get what they want. The goal is to be chilling and suspenseful, each chapter dropping a few clues as to how the person died. But when you get to the final chapters, and the truth comes out, it may be a good thing it turned out this way.
  8. The Power of a Pact 
    • Family Drama (Present)
    • A family has the perfect life. But one by one, things turn for the worse. It sends them all spiraling into disaster. The father hits a point where he can no longer go on. One night while up late, he stumbles upon a chat room where people make a pact to meet up one night and kill one another, as they are afraid to take their own life. He spends weeks discussing the ways and places with the friend he meets online. They finally settle on the details. But as one of them is on the way to the meeting site, someone they know learns of the plan. It’s a race to see if the disaster can be prevented.

Note: These are working titles, which may change as the book unfolds. Also, the plot is general so that I have some room to work within the lines.

Thank you so much for participating in the vote, spreading the word and reading any content you choose to read in the future. I’ve enabled it so you can choose your top 3 choices, as there may be a few you can like. Ask any questions you have!

About Me

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. Once you hit my site “ThisIsMyTruthNow” at https://thisismytruthnow.com, you can join the fun and see my blog and various site content. You’ll find book reviews, published and in-progress fiction, TV/Film reviews, favorite vacation spots and my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge.” Since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life… see how you compare! Each month, I will post a summary of a trip I’ve taken somewhere in the world. I’ll cover the transportation, hotel, restaurants, activities, who, what, when, where and why… and let you decide for yourself if it’s a trip worth taking.

Feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Tell me what you think.

TAG: Mid-Year Freakout Book

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Thanks to Steph @ LostPurpleQuill for tagging me! What a cool way to celebrate the middle of the year in our book challenges. I appreciate it. And to any readers on my blog, please go check out Steph’s blog. She posts regularly and has great things to say, also poetry, photography, and fantastic book reviews.


1 – THE BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2017

You by Caroline Kepnes. It was a fantastic surprise with its different perspective, how it drew me in and the eerie sensation of rooting for the stalker. I must read the sequel this summer.

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2 – YOUR FAVORITE SEQUEL THIS YEAR

It’s not a sequel, but the third book in a series that I love. I cannot wait until Ken Follett releases A Column of Fire, part of the “Pillars of the Earth” historical fiction series. I love the characters and the plot so much.

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3 – A NEW RELEASE THAT YOU HAVEN’T READ BUT REALLY WANT TO

I want to read Paula Hawkins’ Into the Water, but the reviews are mixed. I put it on this summer’s Book Bucket list. If you’re not sure what that is, click to find out.

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4 – MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR

Dan Brown’s Origin. I would have picked Ken Follett’s book, but I already chose that above. Many folks don’t care for Brown, but I love this series. Can’t wait to see the complexity he brings in this plot.

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5 – YOUR BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

Lisa See’s Peony in Love. I really thought the description on the book cover would be a beautiful tale with lots of emotional heartache and connection. For some reasons, I found myself uninterested in Peony’s plight and thought it was way over-written for what its goal was.

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6 – BIGGEST SURPRISE OF THE YEAR

Sally Hepworth’s The Mother’s Promise. I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy the book, given it hit a little too close to home with someone you love dying of cancer. But it was written in such an intricate way that I couldn’t put it down. I certainly felt a lot of emotion and really had a connection with several of the characters.

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7 – FAVORITE NEW TO YOU OR DEBUT AUTHOR

Caroline Kepnes because of You. The style was fantastic. The way she draws you in, encourages you to love and root for the guy who’s a psycho stalking a woman. It took careful planning and I admire her skills as an author, especially with the point of view and perspective she chose to write it in.

 

8 – YOUR NEW FICTIONAL CRUSH

It would be scary if I chose Joe from You, given he’s a stalker. {But it is} So… from something I read this year… Patrick, the main character’s best friend, in Single Malt Murder, a new mystery series based in Scotland. He’s caring, loving and well-traveled.

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9 – NEW FAVORITE CHARACTER

Lucy from Amanda Prowse’s The Idea of You. Lucy desperately wants a child, but it doesn’t seem to want to happen for her. She is courageous and strong, especially when her husband’s daughter from a previous marriage causes some trouble. Lucy has a few flaws, but in the end, she really steps up and does the right thing to make the best of the entire situation.

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10 – A BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY

Gayle Forman’s If I Stay. The hospital scenes. The paradox of being alive yet being comatose. Having to learn what happens to the rest of your family. Making a choice of whether to let go or try to hold on. It grabs you by the throat and holds on for way too long. I couldn’t keep it in and had a few moments.

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11 – A BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY

Richard Jay Parker’s Be My Killer. This will probably come across the wrong way, but I loved the systematic tracking of all the people involved in this social media serial killer twisted thriller… simply to torture and kill them. I wasn’t happy because they were murdered, but I absolutely love horror and whodunits, so I was smiling the whole way thru, trying to figure out what was going on in this book. A Twitter killer. Sounds hilarious!

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12 – YOUR FAVORITE BOOK TO MOVIE ADAPTATION THAT YOU’VE SEEN THIS YEAR

Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind. I finally saw the whole movie and it was fantastic. I’d only seen a few scenes in the past. I know, crazy!

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13 – FAVORITE BOOK POST YOU’VE PUBLISHED THIS YEAR

The Book Bucket List post where I list the 12 books I must read this year in case I die. You can see it here.

 

14 – THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU HAVE BOUGHT/RECEIVED THIS YEAR

Hmm… are we talking cover or story? I’m gonna go with story and say Kate Morton’s The Distant Hours. It is fascinating and has an incredibly beautiful but scary story inside its covers. I found it on the bookshelves in my apartment building’s library, quickly grabbing it to put on my TBR.

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15 – WHAT ARE SOME BOOKS THAT YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR

Ha! I could direct you to my book bucket list, or to some I listed above, but the two that come to mind that are must-reads for me in the near future:

Kate Mosse’s Citadel, as it’s the third and final in a historical fiction trilogy set in France. The story is amazing and is sure to have a fantastic conclusion.

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Kate Morton’s The Lake House, as I love her writing… and this needs to find its way into my hands soon.

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I TAG:

And anyone else who’d like to participate…


 

About Me

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. Once you hit my site “ThisIsMyTruthNow” at https://thisismytruthnow.com, you can join the fun and see my blog and various site content. You’ll find book reviews, published and in-progress fiction, TV/Film reviews, favorite vacation spots and my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge.” Since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life… see how you compare! Each month, I will post a summary of a trip I’ve taken somewhere in the world. I’ll cover the transportation, hotel, restaurants, activities, who, what, when, where and why… and let you decide for yourself if it’s a trip worth taking. Feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Tell me what you think.

TAG: Unpopular Opinions Book

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Many thanks to Meltingpotsandothercalamities for tagging me for the “Unpopular Opinions Book” tag. If you haven’t yet checked out this blog, I encourage you to take a gander as it is full of content from both a reader and writer perspective. Great ideas and points of view.

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A POPULAR BOOK OR BOOK SERIES THAT YOU DIDN’T LIKE:

“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams. I haven’t read a lot of science-fiction or fantasy, but this didn’t do it for me. I laughed a few times, but it was too over-the-top in a way I couldn’t connect. I am enjoying more fantasy books, and I like Star Trek and Star Wars, but this one… nah… I’ll pass.

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A POPULAR BOOK OR BOOK SERIES THAT EVERYONE ELSE SEEMS TO HATE BUT YOU LOVE:

The Philosopher’s Apprentice by James Morrow. I’m not actually all that into philosophy, but the story in the first and third sections of this book were fantastic. I had some issues with the second section of the book, and had to turn my head and squint to accept it. I’d say it’s absolutely worth a read, purely based on the story and depth of thought that you come away with.

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AN OTP (ONE TRUE PAIRING) THAT YOU DON’T LIKE:

Do Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey from “Fifty Shades” by E. L. James count? I love the concept of the story and its characters, but I just couldn’t buy her falling for him, nor him wanting her. They seemed too much of a mismatch. And when I saw the movie, I felt it coming off the screen too. Maybe it’s just me!

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A POPULAR BOOK GENRE THAT YOU HARDLY REACH FOR:

Romance. I’m not really keen on reading all about romance. I don’t mind it being a background sub-plot, but if it’s the primary driver for the story, I’d probably pass! For example, I love Outlander, as I classify it historical fiction with some romance or love angles to it.

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A POPULAR/BELOVED CHARACTER THAT YOU DO NOT LIKE:

Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I didn’t hate her, but I didn’t care much for her… and I was an English literature major who loves classic literature. I try putting myself in her place at that time, but I’m still just not very fond of her approach, style and persona. I much prefer other stronger female characters with vehement conviction who lead their novels.

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A POPULAR AUTHOR THAT YOU CAN’T SEEM TO GET INTO:

Neil Gaiman. I’ve only read Neverwhere, but I struggled with the way the book was written, the characters and the plot. It’s been a few years since I read it, and I want to try his other things, but I feel like he just may not mesh with what I like in my reads.

A POPULAR BOOK TROPE (OVERUSED PLOT DEVICE) THAT YOU’RE TIRED OF SEEING:

The dead person is not really dead. If done well, then it’s great. Most of the time, it’s not… introduced purely for the shock value, as opposed to it being the best solution for the crime and victim.

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A POPULAR SERIES THAT YOU HAVE NO INTEREST IN READING:

Mario Puzo’s “The Godfather”. I haven’t even seen the movies. It seems too overdone and over the top for me… that many books about the mafia? Too much. One book is enough, or one supporting story-line seems sufficient. But that’s just me!

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THE SAYING GOES “THE BOOK IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN THE MOVIE”, BUT WHAT MOVIE OR TV SHOW ADAPTATION DO YOU PREFER MORE THAN THE BOOK?:

“The Hannibal Lecter” series by Thomas Harris. I loved the movies and only read parts of the books. They’re good, but the actors in the movie just push it up a few notches, such that I can watch those movies anytime.

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I Tag:

About Me

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. Once you hit my site “ThisIsMyTruthNow” at https://thisismytruthnow.com, you can join the fun and see my blog and various site content. You’ll find book reviews, published and in-progress fiction, TV/Film reviews, favorite vacation spots and my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge.” Since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life… see how you compare! Each month, I will post a summary of a trip I’ve taken somewhere in the world. I’ll cover the transportation, hotel, restaurants, activities, who, what, when, where and why… and let you decide for yourself if it’s a trip worth taking.

Feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Tell me what you think.

TAG: This-Is-My-Truth-Now

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As it seems I’ve gotten acclimated to the life of a blogger, and learned all about tags and awards, I thought I’d create my own tag. My blog is all about revealing the truth, discovering myself, being open and fair in all my book reviews and learning as much as possible about all the people I interact with on here.

{Aside: I assume I am allowed to do that, right? And if not, well then send the IWP (InterWeb Police) in my direction.}

So… I’m calling this the “This-Is-My-Truth-Now” or “ThisIsMyTruthNow” tag, and it will be all about telling the truth — my own version of truth or dare… are you scared? Nervous? Jealous that I’m so cool I created my own tag? I know… all in a day’s work.  NOT!  It’s meant to be fun. So here we go…

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The Challenge Questions

  1. You’re on your way to a birthday dinner that your friends have thrown for you. When you arrive, your favorite author is having dinner by himself or herself and asks you to sit with them, before you even see your friends or they see you. You have two choices: (1) You can sit with the author but can’t tell your friends that you’ve abandoned them for three hours, or (2) Meet your friends and lose the only chance you’ll ever have to talk with the author. Pick one or the other — no exceptions or communication to your friends to tell them about the author — and explain why.
    • Meet my friends. I would love to meet the author, but I’d feel guilty over abandoning my friends when they showed up for a birthday dinner.
  2. You’ve got an opportunity to spend a few hours alone “in your bedroom” with a character from any book you’ve previously read. The character tells you that (s)he would like to lock the door and spend some alone time with you. What book and character is it, and do you decide to enter the room and lock the door, or tell them you aren’t interested?
    • Yes, I choose to lock the door. And these days… it would probably be Jamie Fraser from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander simply due to the accent.
  3. If you could turn any male character from one of your favorite books into a female character (or change a female into a male) in the book or book series, which one and why?
    • I’d like to see a male version of Lisbeth Salander from Steig Larsson’s Millenium series – The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. And it’s because of the tattoos, the danger and the wild side that I could only imagine! No clue who the guy is below, but that’s who I’d picture for a male Lisebth.
  4. What blogger currently on your follower’s list (meaning they follow you too) do you admire the most and why?
    • Right now, I’ve got some super respect for Rae Longest because she reads every one of my posts and engages in really strong dialogue, revealing a lot about herself and how she and I are similar and different at the same time. I have this connection with a few online bloggers, but Rae and I already jokingly refer to each other as great aunt and nephew, even tho we’re not related.
  5. If you could change any one decision your favorite book character made, what would it be and why?
    • I would stop June Reid from Bill Clegg’s “Did You Ever Have a Family” from running away when her family is killed in the accident. It sets her off on a path that leads to a horrible period in her life and hurts one of my favorite characters, Lydia Morey.
  6. If you could pick 1 character from a book and 1 character from a TV show you watch (that is NOT based on a book) to be in a relationship together, who would you choose, and why?
    • Stephanie Plum from Janet Evanovich’s “One for the Money” book series with Ross Geller from Friends. To see their conversation over “we were on a break” would just be hilarious! And their facial expressions… yikes.
  7. It’s your last day on Earth. As you are about to cross that final finish line, a mysterious shadow appears, giving you a choice: (1) You can go move forward to whatever comes next for you [based on your own spiritual or religious beliefs], or (2) you can become a character in a book series and exist permanently doing whatever that author chooses to do with you in the book. Which do you choose, and if it’s option 2, reveal the book and author.
    • I think I’d have to go with Option 1 only because I wouldn’t want to mess with whatever fate had in store for me. But if for some reason I ever chose Option 2, I’d let Ken Follett put me in any of his books in any way he felt appropriate.
  8. If you could steal a pet from someone in any book you’ve read, but had to replace it with a friend’s pet (meaning they wouldn’t ever see their pet again), would you do it?  If so, explain the who and why.
    • I’d love to meet Koko from the “Cat Who” books so we could solve crimes together. But I’d never take someone else’s pet away. Are you crazy? LOL
  9. If you could turn someone from your real life into a character from a book, who from your life, who in the book and why?
    • I’d like to see my friend Michael (he’s just hilarious and has no filter when it comes to things he says) into a character in a Dr. Seuss book for adults. I think people would buy it ten times over. He can make you laugh no matter where you are or what’s happening in your life — and he has no boundaries. I’ve lost my shorts in public because of him, he will say things in cab that make you embarrassed, then jump out at a light and run away. Several bartenders have given us free shots just to get him to stop from being so lively. Total ridiculous fun.
  10. Post a picture of the cover of a book you read in 2000 and the book you are currently reading now. (Note: if you weren’t alive in 2000, pick the first book you ever read and tell everyone what year it was from).
    • Currently Reading
      •  You (You, #1)
    • 2000 Read
      • Catering to Nobody (A Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery, #1)
  11. Your favorite character (under 18) needs a place to stay for 3 months and asks you if (s)he could stay in your spare room (yes, you have one for the sake of this question). Who is it and what is the reason (s)he needs to stay with you?
    • I would adopt Liesl from Markus Zusak’s “The Book Thief,” as she needs a place to stay to escape from the Nazis. And since I am German, they would have trusted me, and the treasured book would still be part of our lives.
  12. Which of the 365 Daily Challenge posts most describes you? To see them all, you can go here. (Note: This is the question each person can change when they tag their own nominees)
    • They are all me, so I really can’t participate in my own questions, now can I?

The Rules

  1. Create your own new post and call it “Tag: This-Is-My-Truth-Now” and be sure to include in your tags the words — without quotes — “ThisIsMyTruthNow Tag”
  2. Include these rules when you copy/paste to your own post.
  3. Be sure to thank the person that tagged you and include their responses at the bottom of your post, so someone can get to know them too. Tell everyone something interesting about the person who tagged you.
  4. Include a link to my original post mentioning this blog so we can see how many people choose to play along. Link to cut/paste is:  ThisIsMyTruthNow
  5. Choose 12 bloggers to tag and include a link to their latest post, so others can check them out and meet new people.
  6. Answer all 12 questions in The Challenge Questions section, but replace the 12th question with your own new one around telling the truth or revealing something interesting about yourself — you can leave the existing if you can’t think of something.
  7. Be sure to copy/paste the “Truth or Dare” section at the end of this post. It’s important to the challenge — so you better carefully read it!
  8. If you’ve haven’t been tagged, but you want to play along, you can totally jump on in and post responses to the tag on your blog.

 

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My Nominees

  1. Nel
  2. theorangutanlibrarian
  3. Books, Vertigo and Tea
  4. frankielovely
  5. mainepaperpusher
  6. susandyer1962
  7. Tetiana Aleksina
  8. PoojaG
  9. hsimone
  10. Stephanie
  11. BrizzleLass
  12. Book Princess Reviews

 

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TRUTH OR DARE: Oh, did I forget to tell you the last part of the ThisIsMyTruthNow tag? If you choose not to accept the tag, you have to follow through on whatever dare the person who tags you chooses — for my nominees, if you choose not to do this tag, your dare is to re-read [within the next 30 days] the book that has the lowest rating of all the books you’ve read in the last five (5) years. And if you don’t read it again, you’ll be cursed with bad book reads for the next five (5) years. HaHaHaHaHa!

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Where’s my love?

About Me

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. Once you hit my site “ThisIsMyTruthNow” at https://thisismytruthnow.com, you can join the fun and see my blog and various site content. You’ll find book reviews, published and in-progress fiction, TV/Film reviews, favorite vacation spots and my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge.” Since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life… see how you compare! Each month, I will post a summary of a trip I’ve taken somewhere in the world. I’ll cover the transportation, hotel, restaurants, activities, who, what, when, where and why… and let you decide for yourself if it’s a trip worth taking.

Feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Tell me what you think. Note: All content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

AWARD: One Lovely Blogger

Posted on

I want to thank Avid Observer @ What Living Taught Me for nominating me for this award. We connected earlier in the month and have been having lots of fun chatting across different topics. You should check out the site to see all the great content for the wonderful things in life.

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Rules:

  • Each nominee must thank the person who nominated them and link their blog in their post.
  • They must include the rules and add the blog award badge as an image.
  • Must add 7 facts about themselves.
  • Nominate 15 people to do the award!

Seven fun and interesting facts about me:

 

  1. I taught kids how to bowl when I was a teenager. I worked in a bowling alley after school and on weekends, learning how to run the machines, the front desk, the kitchen, the bar (when I was a bit older!) and running all the bowling leagues.
  2. I love horror movies, books and TV shows. I sometimes get a little scared, but it’s the best feeling in the world. I know I’m alive!
  3. I write short stories, poetry, family dramas and mysteries. If you ever want to beta read or provide feedback, let me know.
  4. I can add numbers really quickly in my head… sometimes it hurts!
  5. I am an only child.
  6. I prefer cold weather. I don’t like to sweat unless I’m engaging in some form of exercise. Then it’s OK… temporarily… otherwise, bring on the cool weather, baby!
  7. I hate vegetables but I love lima beans. Very weird. Anyone else like that?


My 15 Nominees:


About Me

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. Once you hit my site “ThisIsMyTruthNow” at https://thisismytruthnow.com, you can join the fun and see my blog and various site content. You’ll find book reviews, published and in-progress fiction, TV/Film reviews, favorite vacation spots and my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge.” Since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life… see how you compare! Each month, I will post a summary of a trip I’ve taken somewhere in the world. I’ll cover the transportation, hotel, restaurants, activities, who, what, when, where and why… and let you decide for yourself if it’s a trip worth taking. Feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Tell me what you think.

Top Reads – Age 18 to 29 – Historical Fiction

Posted on Updated on

As part of our series with curiosity brewing over how people choose to read what book at which age, it’s time to put forth some recommendations for the second week… and our focus will be ages 18 to 29 for Historical Fiction:

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Of course, everyone has a different maturity level and might be ready to read certain books sooner than others, as well as vice versa. It’s only meant as general guidelines with a fun spirit — and not any sense of indicating someone isn’t capable of reading something sooner. I’ve linked to my review of the book for any that I’ve read. There are a few I haven’t yet read, and so I’ve linked to its Goodreads book page.

I am also using a more strict interpretation of the the historical fiction genre than commonly understood. For my selections, a few rules:

(1) Book must have been written and/or published at least 25 years after the events in the book actually take place, e.g. written in 1990, the events had to occur before 1965 (basically 1 previous generation).

(2) Its genre needs to be primarily known as historical fiction. A few selections below contain some fantasy or mystery, but that’s a minor component. Just because a book takes place long ago in the past, doesn’t make it historical fiction. I toyed with including Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities,” but decided that belongs in another Top Reads list, e.g. Classics (Pre-20th Century).

(3) The primary characters need to be fictional or, if they are based on real people, they have to be used only as a foundation from which the author jumps off. For this reason, I didn’t include the book “Victoria” by Daisy Goodwin, although I love it. “Victoria” is based on reality, using verified letters the Queen wrote to family and friends — very little of the book is completely fictional.

Many of these books could be read at any age. I tried to ignore ones that are taught in high school, thus why I started at the age of 18. I wanted to include “The Color Purple,” but I think that’s better when read in your 30s, so it will be on a future list. But maybe you think it should be in one’s 20s. Convince me!

My suggestions are based on some of the content in the books, the written words / level of the language, and/or readers having enough life experience to truly understand what messages are being conveyed. That said, it’s only my best guess and I am very open to hearing different opinions… possibly persuaded to make a change. I also know I missed a few good ones, but I can include them for future years. Let’s have a really great discussion over all these items!

 

Age / Book / Author

  • Age 18: The Crucible by Arthur Miller
    • Throughout high school, you’re often forced to read certain classic literary novels and plays. This play is right on the border of classic vs. historical fiction, high school vs. college read, and forced vs. exploratory/enjoyable about a dark American period. I’ve decided this is a good transition piece to move readers into the genre, showing true history of what’s happened in America, as well as fictional characters who are over-the-top and on a crusader-type mission. Though some may find it a tad boring, I think it’s got elements of everything that represent historical fiction with a great respect. It would be a great one to read, watch a television version and then even see a play in a local theatre.

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  • Age 19: The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
    • Arguably part of the Young Adult (YA) section, and perhaps even something to read at a younger age, I would tell readers to hold off until you’re out of high school. Get away from the clique and group sociology. Make your decisions on if you’re going to college, trade school or starting a job. Then settle in one weekend with this book to see how hard life was for other people, as a youngster in the face of a horrific period in history. You’ve learned enough about the Holocaust in school, and sometimes it’s more than any single person can handle hearing. But this book transformed me and moved me to tears. And it’s great for those who love books about books. It’s a “let’s change our life” book, perfect for when you begin your foray post school into whatever path you choose for life.

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  • Age 20: Moloka’i by Alan Brennert
    • Not as well known as The Book Thief, but just as powerful. Few know about this tragedy faced in Hawaii, as an example (since it happened elsewhere too), over a century ago. People are afraid of disease and things that look different than they do. Learning how life changes for these characters over a 30 to 40 year period, understanding the lessons we experience when we’re older versus what we should have known in the beginning can be a game-changer. This tale has a beautiful connection with the characters, where you will love them and be annoyed with a few of them, all at the same time. Few stories take you to a time and place like this one, where things are different yet still so very much the same. Perfect for strting a new decade of your life.

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  • Age 21: Orphan Train by Christine Baker Kline
    • There’s a balance in this book that I’ve not yet found in another. Told both in the current time period and in the past, it’s not only a coming-of-age story for someone who needs to learn how to grow up, it’s also a reflection on a life left behind for a woman near the end of her days. But when they bond, you see something special. Though one of the characters is in her teens, I would suggest holding off until you are embracing life in your 20s… when seeing your grandparents facing issues, looking to connect with their grandchildren, and feeling a sense of story-telling time. And when your mind will be open to accept that the things in this book actually did happen many years ago.

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  • Age 22: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
    • A tough add for me. I considered “Peony in Love” by Lisa See, or one of her other books; but I stuck with this one. Hearing about a heritage other than American, or Anglo, is important. Knowing what women went thru to be able to survive. It’s something you can take a lesson from at any age, but I think one’s mind is open after finishing college (or a few years of work) — having a few years of reading on your own, having chosen fiction that you can connect with each day. Now you have an opportunity to travel to a land on the other side of the world — or maybe close by, if you live in Asia — where feminism and the female voice are treated so very differently.

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  • Age 23: Girl with Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
    • I’ve never read this one, but I know it’s powerful. And important. I’ve read excerpts. I’ve seen some adaptions. The narrator is 16. But 16 in the 1600s is more like a girl in her 20s now-a-days, I believe. Reading it when you’re either settling down into “married life” or your own career, seeing the differences from so many centuries ago… might help give some perspective to where you are in your own life — and what you want to accomplish. And you’ll know more about this genre, including what historical periods and countries you like and don’t like.

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  • Age 24: The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory
    • I adore Philippa Gregory’s books and the details on all the English Kings and Queens. I picked this one, though it’s not my favorite, because it’s the debut for the book series about the Plantagenet and Tudor royal families. For most people, it was torture hearing about the royal families… who killed who and who fathered who. People failed quizzes and got their Henrys, Richards and Georges confused all the time. {Maybe not us book nerds… I never did, I loved them}. But it feels like in your mid-20s, you’re starting to want to hear the other side of the facts. What happened behind the scenes? And now with so many TV adaptions of these periods, it’s important to understand how it all began.

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  • Age 25: The Help by Kathryn Stockett
    • Historical fiction wouldn’t be a genre if it didn’t include a story about civil rights and the struggle for equality. It is such an important part of American culture, and we’ve studied so much of it in school. But what about the real people who went through it. The men and women who dealt with the violence and mistreatment on a daily basis. And if you add some humor, passion and familiar connection, in a setting more beautiful than you hear about in school, you’ve got a winner. Another book worth waiting until you’ve finished school and had a few years away from the required reads, studying and quizzes. Some may argue this could be used during school as a way to teach, but it has so many wonderful elements, I’d rather wait until it feels like a natural go-to read to learn about the things we all know happened but have limited experience with. {Plus, if you read it too young, I could see some unruly youngster baking their own chocolate pies for people they dislike! And no, I wouldn’t have been one of them! How dare you… LOL}

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  • Age 26: The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
    • This is one of my top five favorite books and Morton is one of my top four favorite authors. Her language is ethereal. Her scenes are breathtaking. Her characters remind us of people we know. You need some life experience before taking on her books. If you’ve had these types of life experiences before 25, good for you. But there’s heartbreak. And pain. And torture. And longing. And it takes years to build that up. I probably should push this until later 20s or early 30s, but I want everyone to be exposed to this author as early as possible without causing any sort of concerns at too early of an age that you are bored by lengthy descriptions. And the lessons I learned about life and people… absolutely phenomenal.

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  • Age 27: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
    • Another one where I picked the first in series. And I pushed this towards the end of the 20s purely due to some of the violent content surrounding war, sex and pain. I am ignoring the small component of time travel and fantasy as that’s not the point of the story. The point is being torn between two places, two time periods, and the love you feel for a man who is your destiny but also your potential downfall. I want to read this over and over again, but there are so many in the series, you have to start relatively young to get to them all!

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  • Age 28: The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
    • It’s a toss-up for me whether Follett or Morton are the best historical fiction writers in the entire universe. It was also very difficult to just pick one of his books. “World Without End” is my favorite in this series. “Night Over Water” is my ultimate favorite of all his works. Both are also historical fiction. And while I like the setting of Night over Water, it could have taken place in any time period… so I opted for Pillars. The imagination here is intense. The ability to draw so many facets of personalities, as well as the complexities among the different generations over the years is immense. The man’s a genius and his literature is so impacting, I truly set aside uninterrupted time when it’s a Follett novel. Given the vast diversity of the historical periods being covered, it’s meant for a mature reader. Some are ready to tackle this in their late teens or early twenties. And I mean no offense, but I think it’s a better read when you’re older, and you’ve read enough in this particular genre and by this author… so when you pick up this series of books, your amazement will be profound. {Tell me why I’m wrong — totally up for it}

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  • Age 29: Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
    • Similar to last week’s mystery choice with Dan Brown, I’m gonna get a little flack for throwing this one in here. But I adore it. The messages in this story. The characters. The loss. The pain. The love. The images. It is so beautiful and it could only take place in the past in another country (other than my own) where life seems so much more cultural and rich. Another book that requires having had a great loss, I’d save this one for later in the 20s. Actually, I’d read it twice. Once in your 20s and again in your mid to late 40s… there’s a different mindset, and you’ll have a different perspective. I can say that from talking to other people about it, as I haven’t quite reached the second age yet, so… that’s where you can slap me around a bit, telling me I should have included “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker. I can take it. Hit me.

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Summary

I know I’ve got 1 or 2 wrong… still debating… but if you know anything about me in my 365 Daily Posts — I aim for perfection, don’t get caught up in the vicious circle of analysis paralysis, and I’m constantly in my head thinking too much. So this represents a two-hour research and release process about recommendations for historical fiction in your 20s. OK! Let’s rumble… who agrees? Who disagrees?  Where did I forget something? Keep me focused, friends!

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 Rules If You Want to Do One Too

  1. Pick a genre. You can get very detailed and go into sub-genres, e.g. cozy, classic, etc. I’m starting general and may work my way down into the details.
  2. Pick an age range, roughly covering 12 years. You can add more or start with less, but I figured twelve ages seemed like a good one to start with.
  3. Pick a book for each age that you’d recommend to get someone situated with the genre.
  4. You can’t repeat an author within that age range.
  5. Explain why that author, book and age.
  6. Either show a book cover or provide a link to the book on Goodreads, or if you’ve read it and have a review, link your review.
  7. Start a discussion with everyone, e.g. is it the right age, is something missing…
  8. Tag others if you’d like, but I open it to everyone.
  9. Last week was mystery fiction for ages 13 to 24. See the post here.
  10. I don’t read in all genres. I don’t know every age. I’d love some help. Anyone want to partner with me on this for a different age range and genre? Please!

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About Me

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. Once you hit my site “ThisIsMyTruthNow” at https://thisismytruthnow.com, you can join the fun and see my blog and various site content. You’ll find book reviews, published and in-progress fiction, TV/Film reviews, favorite vacation spots and my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge.” Since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life… see how you compare! Feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Tell me what you think. Note: All content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.